What is cyber security? We all hear this term in the news, at work, and even on television. Many topics come to mind when we hear the term cyber security: “firewalls”, “virus”, “passwords”, “technology protection”, and even “email fraud”. But, have we truly answered the question “What is cyber security?”

In the ages of emperors, kings, and queens, cities were protected with stone walls and armored men. These physical barriers had to be put in place so that people could protect what they considered valuable: Their assets. Guards would be asked to protect important jewels from the kings and queens, and walls would be constructed around cities to control entry and protect the citizens from any sort of attack or unwanted visitors. Right now, you might be wondering the following: why did this article shift from cyber security to guards, kings, and queens? Well, the main point is, both topics involve security. In the early ages, physical barriers had to be put in place to protect those assets that were considered critical (such as the jewels from the queen). Now, in this digital age, we no longer only have physical assets; we also have digital assets that we must protect.

So, cyber security is basically the practice of protecting any sort of asset against a cyber-attack. Here in C&S, we consider cyber security the practice of being able to mitigate cyber risk. Cyber risk is the situation in which a threat will expose a vulnerability from a cyber asset and therefore cause financial, reputational, or informational loss to an individual or enterprise.

Now that we know what cyber security is, then we must ensure that we live and breathe it. How do we do this? Cyber security is not only having the latest technological solutions or protection software, it is much more than that, it involves each and every individual around us. First, we must live it every day; ensure our way of living is always cyber secure. Listen to the news, follow experts, raise alarms, and ask questions; in cyber security, anything that seems a little bit strange, such as a slow computer or a strange email, could have great repercussions in the future. Second, in our companies and enterprises, we must have clear cyber security principles that we know by heart and that intertwine with our way of working. Finally, we must have a culture that enables a digital community that is always secure.

We could go on and on about cyber security and cyber risk, yet we wanted this short article to be an alarm; a siren call of sorts, to everybody. It doesn’t matter where you work, what you do, or where you live, you must always live and breathe cyber security. We are living in a digital era – an era of both physical and digital assets, and if we don’t learn how to improve our cyber security, we might lose those assets that we hold most important. Remember: always strive to cybersecure; always live and breathe cyber security.